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Will Biden Bounce Back?; Is Biden's Presidency Doomed?; Tsunami Advisory For Pacific Coast; Could Democrats' COVID Policy Alienate Their Base?; Could Hillary Clinton Be The 2024 Democratic Nominee?. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired January 15, 2022 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: Unforced errors. I'm Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia.
It's a big weekend in the NFL. But I'm not talking about football. It's the Biden administration. And by now, you know the president's week was a disaster. COVID is not contained. The messaging is a mess. And the Supreme Court struck down the president's employer mandate. Supply chain problems persist. Inflation is at its highest level in 40 years. Build Back Better is nowhere. Any effort to protect voting rights lacks the votes necessary for a filibuster carveout. And there's a question of how to react to Russia, amidst reports that it's ready to raise a false flag as a pretext to invade Ukraine.
It's enough for Biden to be envious of Boris Johnson. Against this backdrop, hosting a BYOB garden party while the rest of the nation is in lockdown, that's a walk in the park. No wonder the president's approval rating according to a survey released this week by Quinnipiac University stands at just 33 percent.
The White House response was to argue that Quinnipiac is an outlier. And that the real number according to a 538 average is 43 percent approval. As in we know things are bad, but they're not that bad.
While some of the vexing issues are arguably beyond the president's control, many were missteps. Not the sort of things you'd expect in a Washington lifer who campaigned his season and experience. Take the Tuesday speech. The president hoped for a momentum shift with a trip to Georgia. Perhaps his exuberance was borne of beer muscles from the positive reaction to the speech that he delivered on the January 6th anniversary.
This is Biden again seeking to project strength through spite. Only this time, without Donald Trump as a target, he missed the mark. His comparison of today's opponents to his voting rights measures to the racist of the civil rights era was an overreach and off-putting.
At the "Wall Street Journal," Peggy Noonan herself, a former Ronald Reagan speechwriter wrote this, "The speech itself was aggressive, intemperate, not only offensive but meant to offend. It seemed prepared by people who think there is only the Democratic Party in America, that's it, everyone else is an outsider who can be disparaged. It was a mistake on so many levels."
Noonan was right, where was Biden's political savvy and the judgement of those who advise him? What made him think that a fire and brimstone speech delivered in Atlanta would reach its intended audience of two, a senator in West Virginia and another from Arizona. If Sinema and Manchin have shown us anything, it's that they're not susceptible to pressure from that kind of speech or direct appeal.
The only way to get their votes if they're gettable is through quiet persuasion, not public bombast. The president didn't even win the plot that he's anticipated from the left, where his remarks were seen as too little and too late.
Stacey Abrams didn't even attend the speech in her home state, citing an unspecified scheduling conflict. Really?
The only thing tangible to come from the speech, a four Pinocchio rating from "The Washington Post" for the president's false claim that he'd been arrested in the context of discussion of the civil rights movement.
Compounding the Tuesday trip on Thursday, for the third time in the last year, Biden headed to Capitol Hill to meet with Democrats behind closed doors. And came back empty-handed.
Another rookie mistake, who allows the president to put the prestige of his office on the line with a visit to cajole lawmakers without knowing in advance that the deal can get done? Like a summit. With a world leader. You only make the trip to Capitol Hill when you know you'll have something to announce, when it's over.
In this case, Senator Sinema didn't even await his arrival. Instead, she took to the floor and announced that while she backed two new voting rights measures, she will not support an effort to weaken the filibuster. And not to be outdone, soon after the presidential meeting, Joe Manchin then released a statement announcing that he, too, was against ending the filibuster.
In the final analysis, though, what matters to the American public is the economy. And considering the pandemic and notwithstanding inflation, it nevertheless remains remarkably strong. When we get past COVID, the president's unforced errors may be forgotten. And people may again vote with their wallets. But for right now, his mistakes and the pandemic loom large.
I want to know what you think. Go to my website smerconish.com and answer this week's survey question, "Will Biden bounce back?"
My CNN colleague, Julian Zelizer, the Princeton professor wrote an essay this week at CNN.com under the headline, "Is Biden's presidency doomed?"
His answer is no. And he points to modern history to argue that many presidents have faced similar problems at this stage but have been able to recover from moments like this.
Professor, thanks so much for being here.
I would point out that it's such a polarized environment. Is it fair to compare what's going on with Biden to what went on with Reagan, Obama, Clinton, et cetera?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Polarization doesn't start in 2020. Obama, Clinton both faced, for sure, the problems of a polarized electorate, even if they've become worse. And presidents have to be measured and evaluated in the circumstances of the moment. And presidents in difficult times, you can argue the same with Reagan, still are able to find ways to strengthen themselves and to recover from these periods.
SMERCONISH: Well, Reagan is often, you know, the measuring stick for modern presidents. For what reason, I'm not exactly sure. But let's go with it. Where was Ronald Reagan at this stage of his first term?
ZELIZER: Well, in 1982, times were tough. The country is in a major recession. Unemployment will go to over 10 percent at one point. Conservatives, many of them are not happy with Ronald Reagan despite who he was, because he's not going far enough on issues such as reproductive rights. And many moderates and Democrats for sure are upset with his efforts to gut the social safety net and his ramping up of cold war rhetoric. So, in '82, it culminates with midterms that are very good for the Democrats and the House of Representatives which they control. And yet '83 and '84 will look very different.
SMERCONISH: And in 1984, he wins a landslide election. I'm not even sure if landslide elections are even possible anymore against Walter Mondale. But were things as bad for Reagan as they are for Biden? I'm going to rely now on the "Associated Press" today, Steve Peoples, who notes this.
"For now, virtually none of the groups that fueled Biden's 2020 victory are happy. Young people are frustrated that he hasn't followed through on vows to combat climate change and student debt. Women are worried that his plans to expand family leave, childcare and universal pre-K are stalled as abortion rights erode and schools struggle to stay open. Moderates in both parties who once cheered Biden's centrist approach worry that he's moved too far left. And voters of color, like those across Biden's political base, are furious that he hasn't done more to protect their voting rights."
Is this a worse scenario than faced by Reagan or Clinton or Obama?
ZELIZER: You know I'm not sure you can make that comparison. Certainly, at the moment, in 1982, there's times of coverage, I read it going through this piece where the same kind of questions are being raised about Reagan who, remember, never even had control of the House of Representatives.
Obama in 2010 is another example, is really struggling. The Affordable Care Act is incredibly contentious. Republicans are mobilizing through something called the tea party. And it culminates in that 2010 midterms which Obama calls a shellacking for his party.
So, they're different and the composition of the bad is not the same. But none of these three presidents were particularly optimistic or happy going into the midterm season.
SMERCONISH: By the way, I left out "w." You probably as well. Because of the unique events of September 11 which really just queue the whole situation.
OK. Let me ask this. In your piece at CNN.com you say, when Obama left, he had a 59 percent approval rating. Professor Zelizer, is it even possible in this climate for anybody to get to 59 percent?
ZELIZER: Yeah, that's a great question and I'm not sure. I do think that's a place where the total polarization we're seeing makes it hard for a president of either party to really achieve national popularity. I think our measure has to be at this point, can a president keep hover in the low 50s and not fall into the 30s as opposed to them being able to win large swath of the nation. I'm not sure we're in an era for the near future where any president will be able to do this during the course of their term.
SMERCONISH: And finally, historically, looking at modern history, what has turned it? Has it been legislative achievement, or has it been some event that we can't even fathom on an international stage or on a national stage and the way that a president responds to a crisis?
ZELIZER: Three elements, one is circumstance. Reagan benefitted from the recovery of the economy in '83 and '84 and was able to run on the slogan. In '84, it's morning in America again.
Part of it, second, is the way in which presidents can characterize their opposition, as extremists after the opposition gained strength. We saw this with Obama in the tea party in 2011 and '12. Bill Clinton -- President Clinton did it with Speaker Newt Gingrich in '95 and '96, when the government is shut down.
And finally, legislative achievements are still possible, or big moments on the international stage. In 1983, Reagan pushes through Congress with bipartisan support, a major social security package. In '95 and '96, Clinton after Oklahoma City pushes counterterrorism package.
So those are the three factors, I think, allow for a rebound to happen.
SMERCONISH: It just feels like the closer we get to the midterm election, the less the odds of there being any give, by any of the legislators necessary from what the president is looking to accomplish.
Professor, thank you so much for being here. Your piece is really provocative and has great anecdotal data in it. So, I hope people will read it. ZELIZER: Thanks for having me.
SMERCONISH: What are your thoughts? Tweet me @smerconish. Go to my Facebook page. I will read some during the course of this program.
What do we have, Catherine?
From the world of Twitter, "Would you just please get off his back!"
OK. Ann, I have a question for you, Ann Jones. If the facts were the same, you know I'm about to play some whataboutism right now, but so be it. If the facts were the same and if it were Donald Trump's watch, in fact, I think I was in the same position on Donald Trump's watch and I did go through the litany. And, frankly, people like you probably said, oh, you know he deserves it and moved on. You got to be fair.
I mean, how can I ignore in good conscience, the way the week has gone for the president of the United States. Remember now, I want to know what you think, go to my website at smerconish.com and answer this week's survey question. This will be very interesting. Will, not can, I'm asking "Will Biden bounce back?" Result at the end of this hour.
Up ahead, to lay claim to being the party that takes COVID seriously, are the Democrats implementing policies so strict that they're endangering their die-hard base?
And there are entire websites devoted to anti-vaxxers who end up dying of COVID. Horrible, right? But might they be morally defensible? We'll go there, next.
SMERCONISH: Well, here's a moral question peculiar to these days. Is it wrong to mock people who publicly crusade against the COVID vaccine and then die of the disease? Or does it drive home the message about saving lives? Their entire websites that are devoted to such mockery, sorryantivaxxers.com, gleefully tally stories and photos of antivaccine advocates who end up the ICU, intubated and/or dead from the disease.
One recent case of this kind of tasteless taunting spurred two dueling opinion pieces in the "Los Angeles Times." Orange County Republican Kelly Ernby, a former assistant DA and state assembly candidate who had lobbied publicly against the COVID vaccines, passed away earlier this month at age 46 from COVID complications. She was unvaccinated.
Ernby's death unleashed a torrent of reaction on the Internet on her own Facebook page under a Christmas collage that she had posted. There are now more than 4,600 comments. Some are sympathy notes, many others are not. In response to the piling on, "L.A. Times" columnist Nicholas Goldberg wrote, "I don't understand how crowing over the death of others furthers useful debate or increases vaccination rates."
But a few days later, Goldberg's colleague, Michael Hiltzik, published a column expressing the exact opposite, quote, "Mocking anti-vaxxers' deaths ghoulish, yes - but may be necessary."
Michael Hiltzik joins me now. He's the "L.A. Times" business columnist. He's also Pulitzer Prize winner.
Michael, let's make clear at the outset. You are not talking about the everyday people who don't get vaxxed, sadly contract COVID and die. You're talking about people with a platform, right?
MICHAEL HILTZIK, BUSINESS COLUMNIST, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": That's correct, Michael. In my column, I made a distinction, I pointed out that the unvaccinated really fall in three categories. There are those who can't get vaccinated for legitimate reasons. Small children, people with genuine medical contraindication of vaccination. Then there's a certainly large group of people who I think have been duped into resisting the vaccine, duped by misinformation and disinformation about the vaccines. And sort of nonsense about preserving our premiums in the face of this pandemic.
Real targets who are important here are those who spent the last few months or years of their lives, crusading against sensible, safe policies, such as vaccination, social distancing and what have you. And ended up paying the ultimate price for their own -- basically their own falling.
SMERCONISH: I'm going to put on the screen the paragraph that I highlighted from your column. It's this.
"Mockery is not necessarily the wrong reaction to those who publicly mock anti-COVID measures and encouraged others to follow suit, before they perished of the disease the dangers of which they belittled."
Expand on that.
HILTZIK: Sure, you know, we have sort of a cultural habit of not speaking ill of dead, of treating the deceased, looking at the good they've done during their lives. I'm not sure that in this case that's entirely appropriate, because so many of them actually have promoted reckless, dangerous policies. And as I wrote there, they took innocent people along with them.
So, is mockery the only response? Well, I don't know. But as I wrote, every one of these deaths is a teachable moment. And unfortunately, we haven't been learning from the lesson that we should be hearing from them.
SMERCONISH: Many, I'm sure, will be watching this or have read your piece and say, wait a minute, what about civility. In your column, you say civility is a fraud. What do you mean?
HILTZIK: Yeah. You know, the argument that we can disagree, but we should always be civil, I think usually is in the hands of hypocrites. This argument is designed to distract people from what is really being said. And even if it's being said in the most forceful, possible way. So, yeah, when we heard about - and when we hear about you know these people have died, they've left family and friends behind them, we should be civil about them.
I think the problem there is that in this context, what we're doing is erasing the harm they've done to their communities, to their families, and to themselves, and I don't think that harm is something that we should be erasing. I think we should be underscoring it. Mockery -- well, maybe that's one way. Maybe it's not the only way. But I don't think it's necessarily the wrong way.
We need to find some way to remind people of what was going on. What the deceased were saying and doing, before they paid this price.
SMERCONISH: You're in Orange County. Kelly Ernby was an Orange County politician. She's not been gone a month. To those who say her life included a lot of good public works. That's what should most be remembered. You would say what?
HILTZIK: Well, I would disagree, I would say that - that her crusades against vaccine mandates. And she was crusading against these mandates even before COVID. I mean, she crusaded against a vaccine mandate in California that was designed to protect school children from being infected with measles and polio and whooping cough.
So, you know as I've said, these were policies that really were inimical to the public health and to community welfare. So, yeah, look, In Orange County, we have a crisis in our hospitals and our ICUs as we've reported at the "L.A. Times." It's taking longer for ambulances to get to people who need - who need to be transported to the hospitals. We have nine hospitals that had to bring on extra wards, and emergency wards, to deal with the onslaught of COVID.
This is a consequence of the sorts of policies that Kelly Ernby championed during her life. And do we want to forget about that? Do we want to ignore it? I don't think so.
SMERCONISH: Michael, a quick final comment, when I hear of someone who dies of a motorcycle accident and wasn't wearing a helmet. I'm nevertheless sad for their loss. You know, poor son of a gun is gone, maybe I also say I wish they were wearing a helmet, maybe it would have saved their lives. A fair analogy or not a fair analogy? And I'm limited on time.
HILTZIK: No, I think that this is very different. COVID is an infectious disease. Motorcycle accidents are not. They really affect just the motorcycle rider or driver. COVID affects everybody. And we need communal - communal policies to combat it.
SMERCONISH: I know you're getting a huge reaction. Mostly favorable or unfavorable? HILTZIK: Well, I'm getting mostly unfavorable reaction in my e-mails. But I think it's clear from other metrics that people are reading the column. I think a lot of them are agreeing with it. On your own website, you ran a poll, and if I read it correctly, two-thirds of your respondents are in agreement with what I wrote.
SMERCONISH: It's true.
Now like 10,000 people responded on my website yesterday or the day before, and two-thirds agreed with your sentiments. That's true.
Michael Hiltzik, thank you so much for your willingness to get up early and talk about this. I really appreciate it.
HILTZIK: Happy to be here with you.
SMERCONISH: Let's see what you're all saying via my own social media, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, et al. "Not popular, but they've been doubly victimized -- lack of critical thinking skills and disinformation."
Look, I get his argument at the end, when I raised the helmet -- the motorcycle helmet. That is an instance of, yeah, don't tread on me. Individual liberty. I'm going to make this decision on my own behalf. And what Michael Hiltzik is saying is about those who have a platform and have used their platform to advocate against vaccine mandates, against vaccines, generally. Now, they've gone beyond the motorcycle scenario. And they're having an impact not just on themselves but on everybody else as well.
I want to remind you. Go to the website, I've got an equally provocative survey question today, will Biden bounce back? Will Biden bounce back? Make sure you're voting on that. Results are still to come.
With public schools continuing to zigzag between hybrid and remote because of COVID, one lifelong diehard Democrat ultimately put her kids and one child in a charter school. I'll ask her why she feels like her party is making her feel politically homeless.
And, come on, you knew I was going to talk about this. Can 2024 be a rematch of Trump v. Clinton? The "New York Post" calls the scenario a horror movie.
But a "Wall Street Journal" opinion piece calls Clinton the best possible change candidate for Democrats. I will ask Douglas Schoen, one of the authors, how come?
[09:30:57] SMERCONISH: We have breaking news. A tsunami advisory has just been issued for the U.S. Pacific Coast in the wake of a volcano eruption in the island nation of Tonga. The National Weather Service warning residents of the coastal Pacific Northwest move off the beach and out of the harbors and marinas in these areas. The agency also warning that strong currents and larger waves are possible along these coastal areas. The first wave may not be the largest.
Estimated arrival for the first wave starts at 8:35 a.m. Pacific Time in Long Beach, Washington. Those on the coastal areas should stay out of the water and away from the shore. CNN will continue to update as the situation progresses.
Question now, are Democrats' COVID policies endangering their core base? A recent piece in the "Atlantic" caught my eye titled "Why I Soured on the Democrats: COVID School Policies Set Me Adrift from My Tribe." In it, writer Angie Schmitt describes herself as a -- quote -- "loyal left leaning Democrat." But she has come to become disenchanted.
Angie Schmitt joins me now. She's also the author of the book "Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America." So, Angie, you're a never Trumper now adrift from your tribe, what changed?
ANGIE SCHMITT, AUTHOR, "WHY I SOURED ON THE DEMOCRATS," THE ATLANTIC: Well, last year, my son was enrolled in kindergarten at the Cleveland Public Schools and while all of the neighborhood Catholic schools went back to school in the fall as was recommended by the American Academy of the Pediatrics, at the time CMSD and some of the other suburban districts decided to go remote. So I stuck with the school district for a little while but it ended up being a full year before they allowed the children to return. So it wasn't until March -- March of 2020. And then -- I'm sorry, 2021. And then they didn't -- they didn't even return full time at that point. They only offered him two days a week.
SMERCONISH: You wrote this line, you said, "The left-leaning rhetorical response to the pandemic seems out of line with stated Democratic values." How?
SCHMITT: Right. It was -- it was disappointing to me to see how little concern there was for the welfare of the children in Cleveland, quite frankly. You know, there was a full year where no kid saw a teacher at all and that included kids with disabilities. They were forced to do, for example, things like occupational therapy over Zoom.
And meanwhile, as I mentioned the private schools continued without major incident the whole time. And all of the suburban districts in that area as well returned at least three months sooner.
SMERCONISH: This is not just a Cleveland story, right? I mean, the stats that you cite in your piece are pretty stunning and sad. Thirty percent of those kids who were out of school are now in a home where there's no internet access. But speak to the broader issues, if you see them, for the country. SCHMITT: Right. I mean, we saw the same kind of response in a lot of blue -- largely blue states and cities. San Francisco did the same thing. Even little blue outposts like Ann Arbor. I know parents that were really upset. Somerville, Massachusetts, is another one that really went for broke on school closures.
And the sad thing was there was a lot of data the whole time that showed schools are relatively safe, that they were safer than the wider community. And that they had high costs, high academic and social emotional costs for kids and it was ignored by the party -- well, a lot of people who are -- call themselves part of the party that claim to believe in science.
SMERCONISH: So you're adrift from the Democratic Party but not quite a Republican. Where do you fall these days?
SCHMITT: No, I don't like Republicans either at all. So, I'm really hoping that the Democrats will kind of come back to reality a little bit on this issue. I think a lot of people have really dug in their heels. And they've gotten really kind of overexcited about fighting with the other side and we've lost track of certain things that are important, including the interest of children.
So I'd like to see the interest of children, especially low-income children prioritized once again by the party. And I think that we lost sight of that a little bit.
SMERCONISH: I mean, one party seems who apt to shut down, supported by unions. We just saw what transpired in Chicago. And the other seems to want to open with a laissez-faire policy where we act as if the pandemic never even existed.
SCHMITT: Right. I know, there was -- there was such an opportunity for one party to come through and sort of occupy the rational middle ground and really respond to what the data and science was telling us. Instead, it seems like Democrats were more eager to just oppose whatever Trump said. And I think that children kind of got caught in the middle and there's going to be huge repercussions for public education and for low-income kids across the country.
SMERCONISH: Yes. Well, I agree with you. Angie Schmitt, thank you so much for being here. Good luck with both of you children, your son who is in school. Appreciate your time.
SCHMITT: Thank you.
SMERCONISH: Checking in on your tweets and Facebook comments. From the world of Twitter. What do we have?
It's more important for children to be alive and healthy than it is for them to attend school in person. Why can't people see this?
SMERCONISH: Laurie, I don't think that it's -- it's necessarily one or the other. And you've heard me say before, I delivered a commentary on it here last week. I think we've sacrificed the interests of children to the benefit of interests perceived of adults. And I also believe that it's not just their physical well-being, but it's their emotional and mental well-being as well. And it's going to take us a long time to unravel what was the real impact of having a son like hers for a full year not have exposure to children his own age.
I want to remind you, answer the survey question this week at Smerconish.com by going to my Web site right now. Will Joe Biden bounce back? I talked about that in the outset of the program.
Still to come, in Arizona tonight former President Donald Trump holding another rally, even though he has yet to officially declare himself a candidate for 2024. This week, my next guest floated the theory that Hillary Clinton could be the Democrat's best hope. Was he just seeking to be provocative or is this prospect for real? Douglas Schoen is next.
SMERCONISH: With Joe Biden down in the polls and his VP not doing any better in 2024 might the Democrats turn to Hillary Clinton? That is the provocative thesis of my next guest, Democratic consultant Douglas Schoen. He and Andrew Stein co-wrote a piece for "The Wall Street Journal" this week titled "Hillary Clinton's 2024 Election Comeback." It got big traction.
"The Hill" says, she may be -- she may be the Democrats' best hope. "The Washington Examiner" Democratic operative say, Hillary Clinton is best option. But there were some naysayers as well. "The New York Post" called this -- columnist called this, a horror movie in the making. "Newsweek" said, don't count on it. A "Boston Herald" editorial calls it a nightmare scenario.
Meanwhile, former President Trump continues to be a fundraising juggernaut thwarting other Republican hopefuls from entering the race. Tonight, Trump holding a rally in Florence, Arizona. He will be 78 on Election Day 2024. Bernie Sanders, 83. President Biden, 81 about to turn 82. Hillary Clinton, by comparison, a youthful 77.
And though "Politico Playbook" was dismissive about Schoen and Stein's thesis it did report this -- quote -- "People close to Bill and Hillary Clinton said the former first couple sees an opportunity to insert themselves back into political life." Douglas Schoen joins me now. He's the co-author of a brand-new book called "America: Unite or Die: How to Save Our Democracy."
Doug, what did you want to come from "The Wall Street Journal" piece? And did it work?
DOUGLAS SCHOEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think I accomplished my goal of making it clear, the Democratic Party is sinking, Michael, given the approach Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are taking. And I think my answer to your poll question is, no, I don't see them being salvageable, given that they're taking the same path they have, rather than what Secretary Clinton and Bill Clinton have proposed which is repositioning back to the center, getting back to a set of policies that are more both affordable and accessible for the American people. And to recognize that unless the party changes and embraces people like Secretary Clinton who is a centrist and President Bill Clinton who pursuit centrist policies with me and my firm in the mid-'90s, the party will be doomed in 2022. And I daresay, Michael, 2024 as well.
SMERCONISH: To your point, she sat down with Willie Geist this week. In fact, I'll play a short snippet from that interview because I think it tethers to what you just said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think that it is a time for some, you know, careful thinking about what wins elections and not just in deep blue districts where a Democrat and a liberal Democrat or so-called progressive Democrat is going to win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: I like the fact that she's rocking the purple in that interview. You're not in cahoots, right? You haven't spoken to the Clintons. She had no idea that you were going to write this, and you've written similarly about her in the past. All true?
SCHOEN: All true. And I believe that what she is saying now is where the party needs to go. And if Bill and Hillary Clinton reinsert themselves, as you suggest is possible based on the "Politico" reporting, that's all good.
Look, you remember, as do I, 1960, Richard Nixon lost. '62, he lost to Pat Brown for governor of California. '68, the new Nixon came back and was re-elected. He was repositioned, a new image. My argument is where the party has no deep bench the president and the vice president are increasingly discredited with the president down at 33 percent approval in the Quinnipiac poll. Secretary Clinton and Bill Clinton offer a breath of fresh air, repositioning. And as I say with Andrew Stein in that piece, a possibility for change that no other Democrat offers as we sit here today.
SMERCONISH: So, you predict there will be some level of re-emergence after the 2024 -- pardon me, after the 2022 midterm election. I found that interesting. In other words, you don't think that she waits to be drafted after you floated this notion. You think she's going to go out and ask for the order.
SCHOEN: I suspect that the party will come to her. If the defeat as is historically large as I anticipate, that the party will come to her and she will answer their clarion call.
Michael, you know and I know where the country is. It's still a center/center-right. The Democrats are pursuing instead of policies that are inimical to our interest. And as your earlier guest suggested quite cogently the Republicans are too far to the right, they're still talking stop the steal, they're not talking mainstream problems, issues facing our country. If the Clintons do that and I know they can and will, it will be good for the country, good for the Democratic Party, good for our political dialogue.
SMERCONISH: Well, I certainly agree with the fact that there's a huge swath of the country just craving leadership in the center. Douglas Schoen, thank you. Very provocative, enjoyed reading it and discussing it. Thanks.
SCHOEN: Michael, thank you as always.
SMERCONISH: Checking in on your social media. From the world of Twitter. I'm sure we have a ton.
Michael, don't you think the Trump v. Clinton line is a subversive Republican/Trumpian campaigning? Come on.
In other words -- in other words, Barry, you are thinking that sort of rubbing his hands together at Mar-a-Lago or in Bedminster sits the former president who says, oh, only if. Like, you know, bring her on. He might be thinking that. In fact, I'll bet he probably is thinking that because he won that race in 2016 but a lot has changed.
Tell you something else. I had her recently on my radio program. And we didn't even talk politics. We talked about her hit novel with Louise Penny. And she revealed to me a side of herself that caused me to say and my audience to say, more of that in the last cycle, she would have won hands down. Just saying.
Still to come, more of your best and worst tweets and Facebook comments. And we will give you the final result of the survey question. Can't wait to see it. Go to Smerconish.com and tell me, will, not can, will Biden bounce back?
SMERCONISH: A good friend of mine who pays attention to the betting markets texted me during the commercial break after watching Doug Schoen and said, right now Hillary is a 30 to one shot to be the Democratic nominee in 2024. And I said, I would take those odds. Like 30 to one, I would lay money on that if I were a betting person, and I'm not. Because that -- that doesn't sound right.
I'm not saying she does it, but it sounds like she ought to be about a nine to one. Don't you think? Not a 30 to one, a nine to one. Just saying.
Time to see how you respond to the survey question of the week this week at Smerconish.com. Will Biden bounce back?
Hit me with it. Wow. He will be heartened at Rehoboth or Wilmington or wherever he is today, maybe in the White House, 71 percent. And look at those votes. Eighteen thousand and change say -- I guess you were listening to Professor Julian Zelizer from Princeton who said, look, it happens. You know, this is where Reagan was and this is where Clinton was, and this is where Obama was at each stage of their first term. So we shall see.
Here are some social media reaction to this week's program. What do we have?
Biden's week mirrors Djokovic's. Maybe they should both take a break from the public eye, regroup and reconsider their tactics.
You know, Riley's Mother -- by the way, what does Riley's father think? Riley's Mother, Djokovic's problems are just beginning. Even if he gets on the court, I guess, it would be what, Monday night with the Australian Open?
What's going to happen when he seeks to come to the United States if he is unvaxxed? That's what I most want to know.
What else came in during the course of the program today?
Everyone should be hoping he bounces back as that is best for the country.
By the way, I'm totally in that category. I'm not here, you know, dancing on the political grave of Joe Biden. I want a strong and successful U.S. president. So I totally agree, Sean Nichols.
One more if we've got time for it. What else? That was from YouTube. That's kind of cool.
Enough of this circus. We need fresh faces throughout politics if we're going to get this country back on track, says Peter.
I don't know. It's hard to deny Trump and it's hard to deny Clinton if they really want it and they pursue it.
I'll see you next week.